According to sources, it’s emerged that the entire Super Ted FC backroom staff have been let go by the club following talks with Rupert Murdoch, and the rest of the executive board, over the weekend.
For many, it won’t come as a shock following a third relegation and second bottom-place finish for the long-serving backroom, all of whom have been with Sean Downs since day one. For some, however, it’s indicative of just how much of a grip Downs has on the club where, for all of his perennial failure, his hand-picked team have been sacrificed to appease the angry Super Ted FC fans.
Downs long-time consigliere, advisor and fixer, veteran central defender, Arjen de Zeeuw, is perhaps the biggest surprise with many within the game deeming him to be an “untouchable” due to his vast network of contacts and influence within the game. Allied to his vast loyalty and the mutual, professional respect with which he and Downs held for each other, it’s an eye-opening development that suggests their partnership has cooled with the prominence of the DSoE—a faction de Zeeuw has continually distanced himself from.
“It’s not the way I’d liked things to have happened but this is football,” he was quoted as saying earlier. “Sean and I still have a great respect for each other, and whilst I disagree with some of his decisions over the last 12 months, we have always agreed on the bigger picture.” Before adding, “I don’t believe this is the end.”
Joining him is assistant manager, and Downsy’s 11 legend, Santi Cazorla, attack coach, Remy Cabella and defence coach, Benoit Assou-Ekotto as Downs and Super Ted FC look to rebuild the club from DoWo next season.
It’s a position Downs has faced before with angry fans asking: Where has the money gone? When will the titles come? And why is Downs still at the club? Typically, the response has been to circle the wagons and come out more bullish than ever in pre-season. This time, however, either Downs has lost the vice-like grip on the club that many feel he wrongly believes to be his personal plaything or it’s the maverick rebirth that could yield the club’s first division title. Whatever happens, don’t expect the man himself to take any responsibility for his actions, regardless of the consequences for those closest to him. Just ask Arjen.